Assalaam alaikum, dear readers and Juma’a mubarak! I hope you all are fasting this beautiful day of Ashura 😉 Here is today’s post, without further ado:
A man was receiving, from the doctor, the unfortunate news that his mum has just passed on when he observed someone mocking him. Two other doctors stood within the vicinity and laughed at a private joke but the distressed man was positive they were mocking his tragedy. He promptly went up to them and delivered a slap on the face of the male doctor in the duo.
I was a house officer doing my internship at the teaching hospital at the time and when the news got to us that one of us had been assaulted, we were stupefied! This was a well-mannered young man, a gentleman; he could not have been guilty of such callousness (and he was not). We wondered aloud what his seniors did to the patient’s relative in the doctor’s defence. The next day, we were ordered to down our tools and proceed on a demonstration. You see, the incident was being swept under the carpet because the assaulter was a relative of our Chief Medical Director. The man was confident his action was justified and nothing would come out of assaulting a doctor.
There are a great many people in these times of ours with this arrogance today. This attitude of entitlement and sheer rudeness has cost many employees their jobs. Yes, the ‘Customer is always right’ but that does not give us the right to treat people like dirt. The converse is also true.
In the teaching hospital, and like many government-owned hospitals in Nigeria, to say workload is immensely overwhelming is putting it mildly. Government hospitals are way cheaper than the private hospitals and also boast of professionals in more fields of specialty than the latter. As you can imagine, most of the staff are incredibly rude to the huge volume of patients they encounter. We often get away with this because the patients are often from low socioeconomic groups and poorly informed and unable to demand better service. Woe betide you if you DARE to demand better from the overworked nurses! You would regret that decision with every fibre of your being.
When I concluded my housemanship and left the teaching hospital, I had to learn to be more courteous with patients and their relatives. Empathy ans compassion came along the way when I realised how unfortunate people were and some simply could not afford healthcare. Unfortunately, we tended to mirror the seemingly arrogant attitude of our stressed superiors in the bigger hospitals.
As I began to look toward becoming self-employed, I paid better attention to the customer care providers and worked better on my approach both as a customer and a care-giver. It is incredibly selfish to take only your view as the most important. Everyone is fighting his battle, has his own problems and is trying to make it through a tough day without our unnecessary drama. Most significantly, when we don the robes of self-entitlement, we should remember that someone’s job and future may be on the line. We should channel that energy for destructive drama into improving the day of fellow humans.
Please, make an effort to be nicer to that waiter, salesperson, janitor, bus driver, house maid, subordinate from today. Ask them about their day and give small tokens of appreciation, if you can. If we need to address their (perceived) ineptitude, we should make an effort to cut them some slack and address the issue with maturity and firmness.
And if you are providing the service, make an effort to be nice to your customers (because this benefits your enterprise) and your subordinates, as well. We should defend them when the need arises instead of throwing them under the bus for the customer’s sake.
Spread a little kindness and brighten someone’s day today. Remember that we are all in this together and ‘what goes around, comes around’.